Hurricanes fall in shootout to Wild, 3-2

calexander@newsobserver.comNovember 9, 2013 

— The Carolina Hurricanes had every chance to beat the Minnesota Wild on Saturday and win a third straight game.

The Canes had good offensive looks and theatening shots in the third period. They had 67 seconds of a 4-on-3 power play in overtime. They could have won in a shootout.

But the Wild came away with the victory. Josh Harding was tough in net when he needed to be and Minnesota scored on all three shootout shots for a 3-2 victory before 14,704 at PNC Arena.

Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville all converted in the shootout against Canes goalie Justin Peters, who again gave his team a chance to win during the first 65 minutes. Only Chris Terry scored for the Canes (6-7-4) in the shootout.

“It was a real hard-fought game,” Peters said. “We played a real solid game, I thought, from start to finish and it was a lot of fun to be a part of. I just wish I could have gotten one of the (shootout) goals but they made some nice moves.”

Pominville also scored in the first period, taking a stretch pass from Ryan Suter and dashing down to beat Peters. Justin Fontaine also scored for the Wild (10-4-4) on a redirection from the slot in the second period.

Ryan Murphy had the Canes’ first goal, tying the score 1-1 in the first with a shot from the right wing that hit Wild defenseman Nate Prosser. Jiri Tlusty then scored his first goal in eight games in the second period, popping a backhander past Harding in front of the crease after an Alexander Semin pass deflected to him.

In the final 10 minutes of the third, the Canes’ Eric Staal had a shot go wide of the net and Harding stopped Jordan Staal’s backhander from in tight. Patrick Dwyer later had an attempt go off the post.

In overtime, the Wild’s Mikael Granlund was called for hooking and the Canes kept possession on the delayed penalty – too long, as it turned out.

When the whistle finally blew, the Canes were left with one minute, seven seconds of a 4-on-3 power play.

“We should have capitalized on the 4 on 3,” Murphy said. “We had them hemmed in the zone with a little bit of momentum. Maybe looking back we should have given the puck up a little earlier but we got some quality scoring chances out of it.”

It was a game at Minnesota on Oct. 24 where everything changed for Peters. Goaltender Cam Ward went out with a knee injury early in the game and Peters quickly allowed two goals in what would be a 3-1 Wild victory.

Peters has been the starter since that night as Ward and goalie Anton Khudobin recover from injuries. He shut out the New York Islanders 1-0 on Tuesday and backed it up with another strong effort against the Wild.

“We played a full 60-minute game tonight and ‘Petey’ kept us in it,” Murphy said. “Any time you get into overtime with a man advantage you want to take advantage of that, so we let that one get away from us.”

The Canes’ penalty killers did their job against a team that was second in the NHL on the power play, killing off all four penalties. But Carolina was 0-3 on its power plays.

Pominville’s goal was his 11th of the season and the 200th of the veteran forward’s career. But 1-0 lead lasted 80 seconds before Murphy scored.

Murphy’s goal was the second of his career. Drayson Bowman earned an assist, giving the Canes’ fourth line another point, while Peters picked up the first assist of his career.

Harding’s goaltending numbers were among the best in the league – a 1.16 goals-against average and .949 save percentage. The Canes, in contrast, had scored just eight goals in their past seven games.

The Wild had a pair of power plays in each of the first two periods as Tlusty was penalized twice in the first period and defensmen Andrej Sekera twice in the second. But the Canes extended their pressure and kept the Wild from converting.

The Hurricanes went on a power play 11 seconds into the third as Fontaine was called for high-sticking but got little out of it.

The game was the first of four straight against Western Conference teams for the Canes. The Colorado Avalanche come to PNC Arena on Tuesday.

Alexander: 919-829-8945 Twitter: @ice_chip

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